Columbia State Student’s Art to be the Face of Quality Enhancement Plan Program


A Columbia State student recently won the Quality Enhancement Plan program’s Art Contest with an original illustration.

“The artwork is going to be the face of our upcoming QEP,” said Dr. Jessica Evans, Columbia State assistant professor of English. “We are so pleased to show off the talent of one of our many talented students at Columbia State.”

The Quality Enhancement Plan is a five-year program that is required for college accreditation and serves as an important part of developing college initiatives. According to research, employee survey feedback and student survey feedback, critical thinking was identified as one of the most important and needed skills at the college. After receiving survey results and conducting research, Columbia State chose to commit to developing students’ critical thinking skills in their coursework as the focus of the upcoming QEP. The official slogan is “Thinking Critically, Growing Purposefully,” which was submitted by one of Columbia State’s employees.

The art contest was held as a way to organically source imagery for the QEP from students. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, was the winner of the poster category of the art contest and was subsequently asked to create a matching logo for the program.

“My QEP co-director Dr. Ryan Badeau and I liked the design so much that we asked the student to design a logo that complemented the poster,” Evans said. “This student’s artwork stood out among the other entries due to its creative take on an abstract concept, professional appearance, and relatable imagery. The idea of a thought bubble to embody ‘critical thinking’ and a tree to symbolize ‘growth’ fit our logo perfectly.”

The logo design for Columbia State’s Quality Enhancement Plan.

“I wanted to include the slogan, ‘Thinking Critically, Growing Purposefully,’ in a fun way,” said the student. “When I think of growing, I think of nature and plants. A tree felt like the perfect way to symbolize how learning helps you grow. When I began thinking of how to incorporate this idea with the slogan, the design of a tree thought bubble immediately popped into my head; it combined the ideas of thinking and growing perfectly. Once I started drawing, everything fell right into place.”

“The student’s ability to create a relatable image of an abstract concept was critical thinking in action,” Evans said. “It was not an easy task that we challenged students with, but they arose to that challenge and exceeded it.”

Next, the poster art can be seen as flyers on Columbia State’s campuses in Fall 2022. The logo design is slated to appear on apparel, highlighters, blankets, stickers and more.

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